Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I am not a competitive person by nature....well maybe when it comes to competing against my husband with games, etc I am, but overall, I just don't like to compete with tons of people over things.

I guess that is one thing about living in Northern Virginia that drives me crazy. I feel as though everything we do involves competing with thousands of people who are looking to do the same thing as you. There is always traffic around here and no matter where you go, lots of other people have the same idea as you do. People are always in a rush to get somewhere and some have no sense of decency when it comes to others. I am not saying this is strictly a NoVA thing, because I know it isn't - this is a city, urbanite way of life thing, and it is just not my style.

For the past 6 months or so, our girls have been taking swim lessons. We aren't like some families who only enroll their children in the spring before pool season starts, we continue to enroll our girls because they love to swim. Each session, I have to remind myself to get on the ball and register my children, and not only do I have to do that, I try to pick the class with the same exact swim instructor they've had for months, which is not an easy task. Most people know us since we've been going there continuously for quite some time now.

Last session, we signed our big girls up, to find out our fave swim instructor wasn't teaching their level anymore on those days. We had a new lady, whom I did not like from the second I laid eyes on her. She was rude, she was impersonal, and she came off as though she didn't like kids. Why do they do this? They're always playing musical teachers with these classes, and I don't like it. I like some sort of continuity for my  kids, and I know they like it, too.

Throughout this session, she has gone away on vacation, and we've had substitutes (which is a royal pain in the ass when the new people don't know the abilities of the kids) and I've had instances where I have been worried about the safety of my child. Last week, she put flippers on the kids. Half of the kids can barely make it 25yds without flippers, so add the flippers, and there were near drownings. There is one girl in their class who needs a lot of extra help (which is fine) but she spends the entire class with her hands on this child. Lilah needs help, too (and so do all the kids), and when she put flippers on my 4 year old and expected her to swim 25 yards, she lost my respect. Lilah was struggling, bad, I honestly thought I was going to have to jump in. I was going off my rocker. I was so pissed as the teacher continued with her hands on this other girl and had her back to my child, who was struggling. I immediately went and spoke with the director of aquatics and he expressed concern, but only concern.

Our old teacher told us she had spoken with the director and he agreed to add an additional class for Mairead, Lilah and another family so our fave teacher could be with our girls. But today when I went to sign up for it, IT WAS FULL. WHAT......how the.......So, once again, my inability to compete with thousands of other people who want to do the same thing, fails me. I email the director to ask him what I should do, and he says.....sorry, maybe I'll add more classes. Sorry? You add an additional class at the request of a teacher for specific children, and you let it fill up? Which by the way, I look at the enrollment once again, and thankfully someone cancelled, which made space for our girls.....but good Lord, I don't have time to keep looking every 5 minutes for a cancellation!

It's so frustrating. It is times like these that make me more than ready to get out of here and go back home to a place that doesn't breed competitiveness. The swim instructors who know my children intimately, and know their levels, and take pride in customer service. I am tired of competing in this rat race and ready to live the laid back lifestyle, with a little bit of chaos thrown in there from time to time. Maybe it is the Maine lifestyle - the 'vacationland' motto - that has failed me of this crazy lifestyle here in NoVA, maybe it has given me unrealistic expectations of the way life should be, because that Maine-way-of-life really isn't how life really is - or is it?

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